HL Deb 02 November 1966 vol 277 cc574-5

2.48 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, with regard to U.K. trade with North Vietnam, what, if any, restrictions for British traders arise from U.K. Government direction.]


My Lords, North Vietnam is among the countries to which Her Majesty's Government apply an embargo on the export of goods of strategic importance. Exports of a small number of other goods are restricted to all destinations. There are quantitative restrictions on the import of certain categories of goods from North Vietnam, along with other countries.


My Lords, arising out of that reply, which is quite a change from the reply which the noble Lord gave in this House last summer, and in view of the fact that the United States is carrying on operations against Communism in South Vietnam, and there is widespread resentment in the United States over trade with North Vietnam, is the noble Lord satisfied that the arrangements which he has been good enough to explain briefly will adequately suppress the resentment which the United States feel at the fact that, while their boys are being killed in South Vietnam, we have appeared to be trading to some degree with North Vietnam?


My Lords, in the first place, the noble Lord's Question on May 19 was quite different. It had to do with shipping; it had nothing to do with this particular point. May I say that everything that we do vis-à-vis North Vietnam is accepted and understood by the United States. With regard to the trade that goes on, considering the restrictions on shipping and everything else, it is really quite negligible.